Tag Archives: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

New EEOC advice on use of criminal records in employment

On April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated Enforcement Guidance for employers regarding the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The guidance tightens the criminal background screening process, but does not prohibit employers from retaining the right to consider criminal reports.

The use of criminal background checks has been a hot button issue with the EEOC over the last several years. The Agency’s concern is that the use of arrest and conviction records in the hiring process and for other employment decisions has a disparate impact in screening out minorities. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-1-09b.cfm

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EEOC’s Amended ADEA Regulation Raises the Bar for Employers’ RFOA Defense

by Carrie Corcoran, Matthew T. Miklave, and Susan Gross Sholinsky

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued a long-awaited final rule (“Final Rule”), which amends the regulation on the “reasonable factors other than age” (“RFOA”) defense available under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). The Final Rule is available at 29 C.F.R. Part 1625. The EEOC previously published proposed rules regarding the RFOA defense on March 31, 2008, and then on February 18, 2010. The Final Rule takes into account public comments received on those proposals.

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Employer Recordkeeping Requirements Extended to GINA

by Amy J. Traub, Anna A. Cohen, and Jennifer A. Goldman

Effective April 3, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) extended its existing recordkeeping requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to employers covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). The burden on employers to comply with the recordkeeping requirements under GINA will likely be minimal, as employers should already have recordkeeping policies in effect for personnel and other employment records pursuant to these and other employment laws with the same or more stringent requirements. This Act Now Advisory should serve as a reminder of those recordkeeping requirements, which now apply under GINA as well.

Read the full advisory online

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Employer Recordkeeping Requirements Extended to GINA

by Amy J. Traub, Anna A. Cohen, and Jennifer A. Goldman

Effective April 3, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) extended its existing recordkeeping requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to employers covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). The burden on employers to comply with the recordkeeping requirements under GINA will likely be minimal, as employers should already have recordkeeping policies in effect for personnel and other employment records pursuant to these and other employment laws with the same or more stringent requirements. This Act Now Advisory should serve as a reminder of those recordkeeping requirements, which now apply under GINA as well.

Read the full advisory online

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Labor and Employment Alert: Time to evaluate your recruiting,hiring and accommodating practices…

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), over the past decade, three million veterans have returned from military service and another one million are expected to return to civilian life over the course of the next five years with the anticipated drawdown of operations in the Middle East. Employers will, therefore, more regularly confront issues relative to veteran employment and/or reemployment, including the employment of disabled veterans.

The EEOC recently issued two revised publications, one for employers and one for veterans, addressing the employment rights of veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which made it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments — including those that are often not well understood — such as traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully. 

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Why Companies Need to Care about Caregivers: The EEOC’s Focus on Caregiver Discrimination

By Lauri F. Rasnick and Margaret C. Thering

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has once again turned its focus to caregiver discrimination.  On February 15, 2012, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the EEOC held a meeting about caregiver and pregnancy discrimination.  As “caregivers” are not specifically included as a “protected category” under any federal law, the EEOC discussed the various laws which would possibly prohibit certain caregiver discrimination, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act.  The EEOC specifically discussed accommodating pregnant women under these laws (including light duty and modified work), lactation accommodation, EEOC enforcement of these laws, flexible schedules, paid time off, pay issues, eldercare, and the role of unions in the context of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. 

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EEOC Performance in 2011, What it Could Mean for Employers in 2012

by Ian G. Nanos

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued its Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2011 As reported by the EEOC, 2011 was a record year.  A quick review of these highlights, as well as the pending docket, reveals a growing trend and employers should pay attention.

First the highlights.  During FY 2011, the EEOC received a record number of discrimination charges – nearly 100,000 against private sector employers alone.   More importantly, the EEOC also recovered a record $364 Million through administrative enforcement.  Even with this high volume of new charge activity, the EEOC made a lot of progress closing cases – as one could expect given the record high recovery – and managed to reduce its charge backlog by 10%.  This reduction is also a significant development because the EEOC has not been able to reduce its pending charge backlog from one year as compared to the previous year since it did so back in FY 2002. 

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EEOC Continues to Challenge "Inflexible Leave" Policies and Reaches a $1.3 Million Settlement with Denny’s

By:  Kara M. Maciel and Casey Cosentino

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues its aggressive quest to challenge “inflexible” medical leave policies, as Denny’s Inc. agreed earlier this month to pay $1.3 million to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit. Denny’s also entered into an injunction barring its restaurants from future violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including denying disabled employees reasonable medical leave and retaliating against employees for bringing disability discrimination claims.

The EEOC filed the class action in 2009 in federal court in Maryland alleging, among other things, that Denny’s violated the ADA by enforcing a leave policy that automatically denied additional medical leave beyond a predetermined limit, even when the employee requested additional leave as a reasonable accommodation. This “inflexible” leave policy, common to many employers, led to the termination of the employees.

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EEOC on ADA: One rule — no boundaries

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held an open meeting on June 8, 2011 on the appropriate use of disability leave as a reasonable accommodation at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The open meeting is just the latest step in the EEOC’s on-going effort to move the marketplace towards its enforcement position that employers may not implement one-size-fits-all leave periods for disabled employees (i.e., disabled employees have x number of days to return to work or face termination) – a lesson that Sears Roebuck learned in 2009 at the decidedly burdensome price of $6.2 Million.

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New Regulations Make ADA Claims More Accessible

by Teiko Shigezumi and Carrie Corcoran

The EEOC recently published its long-awaited final regulations (the “Regulations”) and interpretive guidance for the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (the “ADAAA”), which became effective on January 1, 2009.  The Regulations significantly alter the analysis of “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“the “ADA”) and reflect Congress’ intention to expand the ADA’s coverage.  The ADAAA retained the ADA’s definition of “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment; or being regarded as having a disability. The Regulations, however, alter the interpretation and application of this term in fundamental ways. 

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